As Valentine’s Day draws near, the romantic charm of Baltimore comes alive, offering an array of enchanting experiences to celebrate love. From the cozy candlelit bistros to the swanky downtown lounges, the city sets the stage for a memorable evening.

However, securing reservations on the big day itself can be as challenging as expressing love’s depths. If you can’t celebrate Feb. 14, fear not: The days surrounding the holiday can be just as special for a fun night out, and it’s often a welcome relief for the restaurants themselves.

So, plan ahead, book your table early, and explore the heartwarming options that Baltimore has in store for you and your beloved.

A 48-oz. porterhouse steak at Zander's.
A 48-ounce porterhouse steak at Zander’s. (Chris Franzoni)

Zander’s

135 E. Baltimore St., Baltimore

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Step into a world where love meets luxury at Zander’s, one of Baltimore’s freshest culinary gems. Nestled in the opulent former Alexander Brown bank building, it’s the perfect backdrop for your Valentine’s Day soirée. This enchanting haven opened its doors in December and boasts one of Baltimore’s most romantic environments. Savor their 48-ounce porterhouse steak (perfect for two — or more) or ignite your passion with a fiery lobster fra diavolo.

Tagliata’s ribeye. (Chris Franzoni)

The Elk Room and Tagliata

1010 Fleet St. and 1012 Fleet St., Baltimore

Toast to an unforgettable Valentine’s Day by beginning your evening at The Elk Room, where charm meets mystery. Dive into their cocktail menu, which is presented as picture riddles, adding a touch of whimsy to your night. Enjoy the sultry sounds of live jazz as you sip.

Then, venture next door to Tagliata, a classic Italian chophouse. Revel in the romantic atmosphere, indulge in exquisite cuisine (including my favorite, the squid ink campanelle), and explore their impressive wine selection, which happens to be the largest in town.

Clockwise from top left: potatoes au gratin, grilled artichoke hearts and prime rib at The Prime Rib.
Clockwise from top left: potatoes au gratin, grilled artichoke hearts and prime rib at The Prime Rib. (Chris Franzoni)

Bloom’s and The Prime Rib

2 E. Read St. and 1101 N. Calvert St., Baltimore

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Embark on a romantic journey this Valentine’s Day beginning at Bloom’s, a swanky oasis where mirrors and plush velvet create an intimate vibe and hues of red and purple envelop the small and intimate space. Sip exquisite cocktails in style before heading to The Prime Rib, Baltimore’s timeless eatery. With a newly renovated front bar and the enduring charm of a classic American steakhouse, your evening will sizzle with love and delectable flavors — starting with the famous Greenberg potato skin basket, which originated there in 1965.

A cocktail at Ammoora. (Chris Franzoni)

Ammoora

751 Key Highway, Baltimore

Whisk your taste buds away on a culinary odyssey at Ammoora, where the flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean take center stage. Explore inventive twists on classic dishes inspired by Ammoora’s rich Syrian heritage. With a captivating atmosphere, soft music, and alluring decor, your evening will be a sensory delight, transporting you to a world of love and delectable surprises. (Pro tip: Save room for the ashta bil asal, an indulgent sweet, rich and creamy dessert adorned with Arabic cotton candy, ground pistachios and rose petals.)

Gunther & Co.’s seared War Shore scallops. (Chris Franzoni)

Gunther & Co.

3650 Toone St., Baltimore

Lovebirds, get ready for an epic Valentine’s Day at Gunther & Co. They’re rolling out a seductive four-course prix fixe menu, where you can even add wine pairings, oysters and shellfish for extra indulgence. Don’t miss the heavenly gnocchi with butter-poached lobster served with confit tomatoes, saffron-lobster glace and manchego cheese, or the mouthwatering 36-hour sous vide short rib served with butter poached leeks, purple potato coconut milk purée, crispy shrimp and lobster sauce. With an industrial chic dining room boasting a 16-foot living wall, love’s in the air, and it tastes exquisite.

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Duck Duck Goose’s croissant bread pudding. (Chris Franzoni)

Duck Duck Goose

814 S. Broadway, Baltimore

Elevate your holiday at Duck Duck Goose, Fells Point’s chic French brasserie. Don’t miss the opulent French onion soup layered with duck confit or the tantalizing beef tartare topped with a farmer’s egg. Finish your meal on a sweet note with the croissant bread pudding, a perfect pairing for their luscious banana Jameson digestif — a recipe for an unforgettably romantic evening.

French onion rings at The Food Market.
French onion rings at The Food Market. (Chris Franzoni)

The Bluebird Cocktail Room and The Food Market

3600 Hickory Ave. and 1017 W. 36th St., Baltimore

Script your own love story with a captivating journey that begins at The Bluebird Cocktail Room, a charming lounge steeped in the timeless allure of classic cocktails and shareable bistro delights. Then, take a leisurely stroll to The Food Market, one of Hampden’s tastiest gems. Here, American comfort cuisine gets an irresistible twist, with dishes like crispy, cheesy French onion rings and spaghetti intertwined with delectable crab meatballs.

Lobster potpie at The Local. (Chris Franzoni)

The Local

1918 Belair Road, Fallston

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Escape to The Local in Harford County for a romantic dining experience celebrating local flavors. As the name suggests, this eatery passionately supports area farms, brewers and distillers, infusing love into every dish. Share an unforgettable moment with one of their entrees made for two: beef wellington or 3-pound tomahawk steak, which both come with smashed potato and creamed corn. It’s a Valentine’s Day meal that proves love — and picture-worthy platings — are worth the drive.

Scallops and saffron risotto at Allora. (Chris Franzoni)

Allora

1005 N. Charles St., Baltimore

Savor amore this Valentine’s Day at Allora in Mount Vernon, where intimacy and exquisite dining collide. Indulge in their three-course prix fixe menu, complete with a complimentary glass of champagne per guest. Eating there feels like dining in your Nonna’s cozy living room, with a front-row seat to the culinary magic happening in the kitchen. It’s a petite gem, so reserve your spot soon for a truly special evening.

Chris Franzoni is a Baltimore native, resident, food fanatic and “Eater-in-Chief” of @EatMoreBeMore, which he started eight years ago with two goals — eating his way through the city and shining a positive light on the Baltimore-area restaurant and hospitality scene.

Chris Franzoni contributes content about local food and dining to The Baltimore Banner. 

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